The LDS Church, Part 4: Followup

Well!

It's been...um...interesting...around here lately, to say the least!

I've decided to close comments on the "The Fall" post, and start fresh here with a followup. I think it's helpful to sort of re-group and re-focus from time to time.

So where are we? I've learned a few interesting things, I have some questions I'd like to respectfully ask you all to consider and pray on, and I have a few pieces of info for you about the beliefs of "Mainstream" Christianity (as we've come to call it lately). Here goes...

What I've learned:
I think that one of the most interesting thing I've learned from this discussion has been that the LDS Church teaches that there is a difference between "sin" and "transgression". It was one of those, "Oh boy, have I assumed too much? Do I really know what those words mean?!" moments for me. So I did some research into the meaning of those two words. Here's what I found:

The first place I checked was the dictionary. According to dictionary.com, sin and transgression are interchangeable. Thesaurus.com has them listed as synonyms.

Next, to the Bible (King James). It also tells us that sin and transgression are one and the same:

"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." 1 John 3:4

Okay. Well, maybe there's a translation problem...back to the original language.

I looked into the meaning of the original words used in the Bible. Here's Psalm 65:3 (the numbers indicate translation info from the original language.)

Psa 65:3 Iniquities1697, 5771 prevail1396 against4480 me: as for our transgressions,6588 thou859 shalt purge them away.3722

Here's #6588 - info on "transgressions" in the above verse:
H6588
פּשׁע
pesha ‛peh'-shah
From H6586; a revolt (national, moral or religious): - rebellion, sin, transgression, trespassive

You can see that sin and transgression are used interchangeably here too.

However, the LDS Church teaches that they are different. To quote a commenter:

"Transgression:Violation or breaking of a commandment or law
Sin: To commit sin is to willfully disobey God's commandments or to fail to act righteously despite a knowledge of the truth"

"We believe that Adam's choice was a transgression, not a sin. (The difference being willfully breaking a commandment you know about.)"

Okay, I admit. I'm still not entirely sure of the distinction (willingly choosing to disobey vs. disobeying due to a misunderstanding or mistake??). But let's apply the LDS definitions of "sin" and "transgression" to the time of the Fall:

"And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." Genesis 2:16-17

"When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it." Genesis 3:6

And to quote the Book of Mormon:"After the Lord commanded Adam and Eve to multiply and replenish the earth and commanded them not to partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, He said: “Nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Moses 3:17).

Even by the LDS definition of sin, eating that fruit was a sin. They willfully chose to eat the fruit even though God clearly commanded them not to. They CHOSE for themselves, and willfully disobeyed God's command!

My conclusion on this issue: Although I think I can understand the distinction that the LDS church teaches between "sin" and "transgression", I lovingly submit that this teaching is not true - not Biblical. The Bible teaches that sin and transgression are the very same. And Adam and Even sinned in the Garden of Eden. God gave them a direct command to avoid the fruit, and they chose to disobey. They chose their own way of doing things instead of God's.

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Alright - next, I'll elaborate a little bit on the "Mainstream" Christian belief about why God made us. My initial comment (That God made us simply for his pleasure, and not for our "progression" into gods) seemed to offend the sensibilities of many of you LDS folks. The general idea behind your concerns seems to be summed up in this comment:

"Interesting, I didn't realize how different our faiths are. I can't imagine a father in heaven that would create us solely for his own pleasure. I believe there must be a purpose for us, or why would He bother with teaching us and blessing us? And if we are not here to learn and progress, why do we feel the need to? I also read your post about the carrots growing in your garden. Why do you think God finds it necessary to thin us out? If I am here only for his pleasure, why does he want to change or improve me? What is his motivation?"

What does the Bible say about why we (and all things) were created?

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Rev 4:11 (bold added by me)

"But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?" Romans 9:20-21

Does it offend you to think that maybe you were created simply for God's pleasure? I guess my response to that is this: God can do with us whatever he wants! He's the Almighty God, and I am not. If it is my sole purpose in life to bring him pleasure, then so be it.

However, it's not as if there's nothing in it for me! He loves me dearly. That sounds like such a small way to say it. But GOD...the creator of all things...knows and LOVES ME. There aren't adequate words to express what a very big deal that is. The very fact that he created me and loves me gives my life purpose.

It also gives my life direction and reason. I am by him and for him. Not for my greater knowledge and growth into a god myself...but for HIM. To glorify (to reflect) him. God made me in his image...I am an expression of who he is.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16

See that? I'm not asked to do good works for myself...for my growth or development or progression. I'm not asked to do good works to earn a place in Heaven. I am to do good things so that my life glorifies God.

So what of pain and struggle and growth? Why the need for growth and "thinning", if not to prepare us for godhood after this life (as the LDS teaching goes)?

Well I'm a sinner. I have a fallen nature. I was "born again" (when I became a believer in Christ, when I asked him to come in and be the Lord of my life). However, there's still a lot of the "old" me to clean out, so to speak. I pray for "more of Him and less of me"...this is the process of refinement that God is working in my life daily, and it can be painful. But he is helping me to grow into the best me I can be. Less sinful me, and more of Him shining through.

And what if the Fall hadn't happened? What if we didn't live in a fallen world...if we didn't have a fallen nature for God to "clean up"? Well, then we would still be living in Eden. There would be no reason for us to be physically or spiritually separated from God because sin wouldn't have forced our separation...which is what God had in mind when he created us. We would still be learning and growing, to be sure! The depth and breadth of God is infinite, and we would have had forever to experience and explore and be in relationship with him. I can't imagine anything more fulfilling...anything more rewarding or satisfying.

This is getting too long. I'll be turning some of this into separate posts in the future, so I'll stop here for now. I hope this clarifies the "Mainstream" Christian belief for those of you who were curious.

I just have one final thought:

Sometimes it seems that the True message of God and Jesus and who we are in God is almost TOO simple! It can seem offensive to the sophisticated thinker. "It has to be more than THAT", we think. It seems that humanity wants a "system"...something complicated and elite. At the very least, we want it to be about us...what we do and what we earn. But it's not about us. Thinking that it is is pride talking. It is simply not. about. us.

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Questions For You

1. Why does the LDS church make a distinction between "sin" and "transgression", when the Bible says that they are the same?
2. God gave the command to Adam and Eve to have children before the Fall. Why would he do that if they were unable to do as he ordered (as LDS doctrine teaches)?
3. According to LDS beliefs, God gave two conflicting commands in the Garden of Eden. If God did this, then he put us in the position of having to choose which of his commands to disobey. Choosing to disobey God's command is a sin...therefore, God put us in a position of having to sin! How does the LDS faith make sense of this? What does this belief make of the nature of God?
4. What do you think of the idea that you were created for God's pleasure? Take note of your feelings as you consider this idea...are they feelings of humility before the Lord, or is pride rearing up?


***I Have A Challenge For You (if you're willing) ;) ***
We all agree that the Bible is Holy Scripture. When making your points, are you able to do so strictly with your own words and those of the Bible? Please try. I welcome your thoughts and ideas and explanations...but I challenge you to back them up solely with Biblical proof texts. Think of it as an opportunity to prove your point that the Bible and the BoM compliment each other!

Dawnita~ –   – (9/22/2008 06:14:00 PM)  

WOW Daiquiri!!! Awesome post!

This will truly be interesting to see what answers will be said to your questions!

I am also surprised how much LDS believers use the Book of Mormon, man made videos and articles and seem to very seldom use just the Word of God... The Bible!

And thank-you LDSNEIGHBOR for your kind words and your honesty to Daiquiri! I also believe that your path and Daiquiri's path were meant to cross, it is awesome how the Lord works!

In His Grace,
Dawnita~

Fern RL  – (9/22/2008 06:35:00 PM)  

I had a comment ready to post to the last Blog on this subject, but by the time I got it ready you had already closed that one for comments.

I am slow, and I am sorry. You said once that you would wait for us to catch up, and I can barely keep up once I've caught up.

I hope you will allow me to add my comment to this part, since it does deal with the same subject.

I do primarily use the Bible along with my own comments, except in one instance when I use the Book of Mormon to show that we DO agree sometimes.

Fern RL  – (9/22/2008 06:37:00 PM)  

Daiquiri, I agree that it seems like our faiths are precisely backward from one another, and I am also disturbed by it. But it is not really so. These posts just make it seem that way because we are talking about our differences instead of our commonalities.

In the first place, I believe each of the points you listed under the heading “summary of Bible teachings on this topic.” I would be very surprised if other LDS people did not agree, as well.

Even with the technical difference in wording, as “transgression” instead of “sin,” doesn’t make our beliefs opposite, and I agree there is no such thing as “sin” without “transgression.” Whether or not it works the other way around, transgression without sin, might be up for dispute. To my way of thinking, transgression is simply breaking a law, whereas sin usually implies a clear knowledge of what one is doing and probably with wicked motives.

The fruit Adam and Eve partook of, was from “the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” That implies that they were innocent and had no knowledge of good and evil until partaking of that fruit. They had been told that they would be cast out from the Garden of Eden and that they would die as a result. How could they understand anything about death, though, in a place where there was none? Eve said she was deceived by the devil, and she was; but it was after she and Adam had eaten of that fruit that they first realized they were naked. In the Bible (Genesis 3:6) it says she gave it to her husband and he ate it, too. It doesn’t say why he did, but it should be obvious, that even if there had been another way for him to have children before Eve was to be cast out from the garden, it looked pretty impossible for that to happen if they would be separated, so, yes, we believe he chose to keep the higher law.

I am glad we also seem to agree on the point of free will and choice. This is a very fundamental doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ.

We also believe very strongly that “…the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” (I Nephi 3:7)

I also like what you said: “God, knowing all things as he does, knew what our choice would ultimately be. As a result, he planned away to save us.” That is a far better description of what we believe than how you described us as believing: “that the sin had to happen so that the plan of salvation could happen.” I would not recognize that as a description of our beliefs at all.

If you think putting Adam and Eve in a position where they had to choose between two sins would have been bad, how much worse would it have been to command them to sin in the first place? That is the point at which they would have had no choice, and would have suffered for something that was not even their fault. That could not be done by a Just God.

If it was, in fact, necessary for Adam and Eve to become mortal to bear children, how could God bring that about? He had to allow free will, and not merely impose it upon them, so he planted the tree and gave them the choice after warning them of the consequences. After they partook of the forbidden fruit, the fruit of the Tree of Life became totally protected, so that there was no way they could partake of it to return to an immortal state. For one reason or another God didn’t do that with the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and the Bible doesn’t say why, as far as I know.

Also, can you say that Adam and Eve would have sinned by not having children? Was there a timetable fixed that said you must have them by this date, or you have sinned? Could they not be perpetually intending to have children, just not managing to do it yet? Still, in spite of labor pains, and possibly post-partum depression (I read your post on that subject,) I believe they had more joy through having children than they ever could have had in the Garden of Eden.

As far as our own observance of commandments and deciding which ones to obey and which ones not to obey, it seems rather obvious to me that to obey all God’s commandments would be the rule. Are there any exceptions? If my neighbor’s house was burning down with someone trapped inside, I would break a window, if necessary, to get in and rescue him/her. Wouldn’t you?

Where do you get the idea that God created us for His benefit, and that it couldn’t possibly be for ours? I think when Jesus said “the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath,” it was a big hint that He created the whole world for our benefit. In His infinite wisdom and love, He gave us commandments that would be for our good and bring us happiness that otherwise we would not find on our own.

I am sorry this is so long, but I hoped I could help you feel better toward us, because I think the reason you have been so upset over this is largely due to misunderstanding, which I hope I have cleared up.

Rob  – (9/22/2008 07:03:00 PM)  

Daiquiri, you were very kind in responding to my questions to you. I will do my best now to respond to yours.

On your first point regarding sin and transgression, I would submit that the scripture you use stands only for the proposition that all sins are transgressions, not that all transgressions are sins. This is like saying all felonies are violations of the law, therefore all violations of the law are felonies.

However, I think this is not really the focus of what you're trying to understand about our doctrine. I think what you're trying to get at is why do we treat Adam and Eve's eating of the forbidden fruit different from other sins. Is that right?

I think the answer for that comes from our belief that this world we live in is not God's "Plan B" for us. We are meant to be here. We don't see it as an interruption or a diversion from God's plan. This is it. This is the world that God intended for us.

Why, then, would God put this choice on Adam and Eve? As you said, we also believe that God is a gentleman (I really like how you put that). The choice had to be theirs to make. However, God knew their hearts (he had just barely finished creating them, after all) and knew the choice they would make. The Fall had to come, but it had to be initiated by man, not by God. I think it's meaningful too, that the tree was of the knowledge of GOOD and evil, not just evil (as you've already seen, we see value in this exposure to opposites)

From an LDS perspective, the alternative view seems difficult to understand. God's plan was for all to live in paradise with no problems, but that plan was ruined right out of the box by the first people God created. Having said that, I will also say that, after reading your posts, I do understand your beliefs in this regard much better now and see where you're coming from.

As far as using Adam's sin/transgression/violation/really bad choice ;-) as part of His plan, this isn't the only time that God has used, to one degree or another, the poor choices of others (both large and small) to further His plan. For example, Joseph was sent to Egypt and put in a position to preserve his family (and the future Israelite nation) due to his brothers' wickedness (attempted murder/selling him into slavery).

Perhaps the biggest example of this is the crucifixion of the Savior. Now I need to be very careful here, because there are HUGE differences in these examples and I don't intend to create the impression that I think these are perfect parallels in any way. However, we believe that it was central to God's plan and prophesied by Isaiah and other ancient prophets, that Christ would be crucified. He had to be crucified as part of God's plan to provide us a way to return to Him. In this regard, God used the wicked and sinful (here, I have no issue with using the strongest language possible) choices of the Jews and Romans living in Jerusalem at the time to fulfill his plan.

God's plans are not frustrated by us. God uses all of us, both the good and the bad, to fulfill his plan. And we believe it is God's plan for us to be in this world.

I will also say that we treat Adam and Eve differently because we have other scripture that gives us additional information regarding Adam and Eve and the choices they made, and the relationship they continued to have with God, after leaving the garden. I think this is why we're more likely to "cut them some slack" so to speak.

I'm sure there are other points I'm missing and more I could say but, I think I've gone on long enough already.

Daiquiri  – (9/22/2008 09:17:00 PM)  

I feel like we're all pounding our heads against walls (sigh). I think I'm hearing you...are you hearing me? I'll try again:

Luke 17:2
"It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones."

Conclusion: Causing another to sin is BAD. Putting someone in the position of having to sin is sinful.

James 2:10 says "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."

And 1 John 3:15 says "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer..."

Conclusion: God makes no distinction between "levels" of sin. If we sin even a little, we are still considered a sinner. Even feeling hate for someone is just as serious as murdering them! Again, there is no distinction between sin and transgression...no distinction between wrongs.

If God put Adam & Eve in a no-win (must sin) situation, then it is the same as God forcing them to sin. By God's own word, that would make God a sinner.

Therefore, the LDS premise that we had to be mortal in order to have children is flat out wrong! OR, the teaching that God commanded them to avoid the fruit is flat out wrong. They can not both be.

Let's consider an example for the sake of simplification (not because I think you're simple-minded, but because I can't think of another way to put it):

Let's say that I have a child, and I place that child in a room. I close the door, and I tell them that they are absolutely NOT allowed to open the door.

I also show them a wrapped package, and I tell them it is for them. I instruct them that they must open it.

Now, you'd assume that I'd put the package in the room with them, right?

To follow the Biblical example of what happened in the Garden of Eden, that's exactly what I'd do. I'd put that package in the room with my child. They would be able to open the gift AND not open the door as I'd ordered.

But to follow the LDS example of what happened, it's quite different. In this case, I close the door (after telling them that they are not to open it)...I instruct them to open the package...and then I put the gift on the other side of the closed door!

What would you say about me, as a parent?! You'd say I was completely unreasonable, and that I set that child up for failure. It was inevitable...they had to disobey one of my commands. Since I put them in that position, it's my fault when they disobey.

See where I'm going?

This might seem like a minor technicality, but it's not...because it speaks to the character of God.

God is not unreasonable. God did not put humanity in the position of having to choose which sin to commit. God did not manipulate us into sinning. God did not give two conflicting commands. God's master plan for us is not dependent on our sinfulness. Let me say that again...God's plan is not dependent on sin.

PLEASE...Please consider it, my friends. What if the LDS doctrine on this point is wrong? What would that mean for you?

Summer  – (9/22/2008 09:22:00 PM)  

Yes- name change. To remind me.

Just pointing out eliminating the BOM from the discussion from the perspective of someone who is LDS. You are on a blog talking about your religion, and the host is a Jew. They want to understand more about your religion, but they don’t want you to refer to the New Testament, because to them- that’s not scripture. You believe you have two legs to stand on, and so accept the challenge. But you feel they are missing out on some incredible perspectives, and short-changing not only the conversation, but themselves.

Question 1- "Why does the LDS church make a distinction between "sin" and "transgression", when the Bible says that they are the same?"
Use the words “The Bible says” with care. Like I've said before, we understand the exact same verses differently. "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." If sin and transgression are one and alike, why make this distinction at all? Why did John even mention this, if not to clarify to the church something they view as inherently different? If you commit a sin, it’s the same thing as (something else) transgressing the law. For sin is the transgression of the law. If everyone knew they were so interchangeable, why would he present this point at all?
Some acts, like murder, are crimes because they are inherently wrong. Other acts, like operating without a license, are crimes only because they are legally prohibited. Murder is a sin and a transgression. Unknowingly operating without a license is just a transgression. We make distinctions between the two.

Especially in the case of the Bible, where interpretation is everything, the words themselves, and their Hebrew definitions, aren’t of as much importance as the ideas they are representing.

Question 2. "God gave the command to Adam and Eve to have children before the Fall. Why would he do that if they were unable to do as he ordered (as LDS doctrine teaches)?" So that the Fall could happen as He intended. Another unanswered question on the table. Do you believe that the Fall was disruptive to God’s true plan for us? What does that say about the nature of God?

Question 3. "According to LDS beliefs, God gave two conflicting commands in the Garden of Eden. If God did this, then he put us in the position of having to choose which of his commands to disobey. Choosing to disobey God's command is a sin...therefore, God put us in a position of having to sin! How does the LDS faith make sense of this?" He purposefully did not give them the knowledge they needed, so that it wouldn't be a sin. Yes. He put them in the position of having to transgress, thus illustrating an eternal principle, our choices bring about our consequences. He doesn’t just curse us for no reason. "What does this belief make of the nature of God?" You answered this yourself. “I guess my response to that is this: God can do with us whatever he wants!”

4. "What do you think of the idea that you were created for God's pleasure? Take note of your feelings as you consider this idea...are they feelings of humility before the Lord, or is pride rearing up?" I do believe we were created for God’s pleasure. I take great pleasure in my children. But pleasure is not all they bring me. They bring pain, too. And we all agree that we bring God pain (Godly sorrow, righteous anger), no? Again, is this just another flaw in God’s designs? No. We are more than just creatures for His pleasure. More! I echo the feelings of Elder Packer who said of our relationship with Heavenly Father, "What could inspire one to purity and worthiness more than to possess a spiritual confirmation that we are the children of God? What could inspire a more lofty regard for oneself, or engender more love for mankind?
This thought does not fill me with arrogance. It fills me with overwhelming humility. Nor does it sponsor any inclination to worship oneself or any man."

ldsneighbor  – (9/22/2008 11:26:00 PM)  

Daiquiri, It may be my fault for even mentioning it, but I think you may be overstating a supposed LDS emphasis on "sin" vs. "transgression". 99.937% of the time they are interchangeable. Don't quote me on that though; it may actually be 99.25%. ;) The fact that this discussion has narrowed down to this super fine point, though, tells me that we actually have more in common in our understandings of the Fall than we have different.

The only really major material difference to my understanding is the LDS belief that the Fall was needed in order for man "to be" and come to earth to grow and progress in this mortal state. Whereas, the Mainstream belief that Adam and Eve already had (or would have had) children and posterity while still in the Garden in their paradisiacal state.

Bottom line: I love Adam and Eve, our first parents. I am grateful for them. I don't despise them for the Fall. I am thankful to be here in this mortal state where I can learn and grow. I am grateful for my older brother Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, providing a way for us to overcome sin and death and to return again, along with our families whom we so dearly love, to live with our Father in Heaven again.

I love the Bible and believe it to be Holy Scripture. It is first in our cannon of scripture. But God is not limited to the Bible. Here's a good video that explains this LDS belief:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tz3rggCnhxQ

That video is of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, one of the living Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the earth in our day. He said these words just this year, and I appreciate the kind tone in which he acknowledges other Christians and their genuine love for the Bible.

In that spirit, I appreciate and respect your love for the Bible as Holy Scripture. It contains many great things.

ldsneighbor  – (9/22/2008 11:35:00 PM)  

Daiquiri, I hope one of your future posts deals with the idea of eternal marriage and being able to be sealed with our families forever. That is truly one of the most remarkable and beautiful doctrines in the restored gospel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULrlf78GSac

ldsneighbor  – (9/23/2008 12:10:00 AM)  

Dawnita, thank you for your sincere acknowledgment. I appreciate your contributions to this discussion. I wanted to follow up on something you mentioned in your comment:

"I am also surprised how much LDS believers use the Book of Mormon, man made videos and articles and seem to very seldom use just the Word of God... The Bible".

I understand where you are coming from on that. You believe the Holy Bible to be the one and only Word of God. So I can see why it is unusual and odd that we sometimes use sources outside the Bible. We also believe The Book of Mormon to be the Word of God. Also, since we believe in the doctrine of continuing revelation, we believe in an open cannon of scripture. We place special emphasis on the Word of God in the cannon of scripture, as well as the words of the living prophets. The next opportunity to hear the words of the living Prophet and Apostles is in General Conference a week from Saturday, Oct 4th and 5th at 10am and 2pm Mountain time. If you are interested in hearing the words of real live living Apostles of Jesus Christ, you are certainly welcome to tune in on a cable TV channel, or watch it on the big screen at your neighborhood LDS meetinghouse.

Patrick  – (9/23/2008 12:15:00 AM)  

I think I understand the LDS distinction between sin and transgression - if I may: It sounds like it comes down to intent. If the speed limit is 35MPH and I know it and intentionally break it, I have sinned. If I know it and break it because I wasn't watching my speedometer - transgression. Or if I didn't know it (it's still the speed limit even if I'm ignorant) and break it - transgression. Am I close?

So, (if I'm close) Adam and Eve knew the command (the speed limit) and chose to break it (intent). Wouldn't that be sin? Or is there also a distinction made because they didn't fully comprehend the consequences of their act?

Side note to Summer and others:
Respectfully, I know I can not argue, talk, or trick someone into accepting my beliefs. I live in a predominantly LDS area and have many LDS friends and co-workers. I've spent many an hour talking religion with these folks. I've found that during initial conversations, many believe that the "mainstream Christian" and LDS beliefs are pretty much the same, the difference is (to them) that they have the fullness of the restored gospel. (I've been told they believe this because that's what they're taught, not necessarily because they researched it.) However, as our discussions progress, much as like this blog, many come to see that there are some stark theological differences that are not even close. So my intentions when I participate in this forum is to point out some of these differences - not necessarily to convince you you're wrong, but to educate.

I hope I never come across as attacking an individual (without provocation), because that is not my style. Yes, I may vehemently disagree with theology, but I don't hold that against individuals. If I've come across as attacking or a "hater" then I truly do apologize to anyone offended.

Just to throw an olive branch of commonality, I've found that when it comes to how to live life the way God intended - with Love - both the Mainstream and the LDS are in lockstep :)

Daiquiri  – (9/23/2008 07:19:00 AM)  

There is lots of talk lately about how we are really all pretty much the same. I need to, for the sake of my conscience before the Lord, state it clearly:

We are not the same. We are really even close.

I love you. I care about you. I respect you. AND our beliefs are as different as night and day.

Jesus is not my older brother. We do not need mortality and pain to learn and grow. God would not put us in the position of having to sin. God's plan is not dependent on sin.

"Sin" vs. "Transgression" - this is not the one small detail that is the difference between our faiths when it comes to the Fall. The very nature and character of God is the only reason I focused at all on it.

Yes, we might have some small similarities. But I'll list some of the differences, and you can tell me if we're the same or even close:

1.The nature and character of God
2.The nature and chracter of Jesus
3.Why we're here and how we got here.
4.Where we're going and how we get there.
5.Sin
6.Satan
7.Salvation
8.Eternity

I'm not just trying to stir the pot and make people angry - to offend. I simply needed to clarify how different we are on some pretty darn big points.

Summer  – (9/23/2008 07:42:00 AM)  

But still- every last one of those points brings us to the same conclusions as to the way we should live in general.

Way to go Patrick- that was so well put.

Dawnita~ –   – (9/23/2008 07:59:00 AM)  

Thank-you for your latest comment Daiquiri... I could not agree more!

I will pray and chat with my husband about watching the program you speak of LDSneighbor!

I am really interested on what LDSneighbor said about eternal marriage and family being a topic here! That is one HOT topic for this girl! I will be on my knees asking for guidance/wisdom and to hold my tongue if need be, if this topic is brought to light!!!

In His Grace,
Dawnita

Big Daddy –   – (9/23/2008 09:03:00 AM)  

Unfortunately, the way you live on this earth does not correspond to eternal life. It may make you a nice person and a good neighbor, but still not know God's Truth.
In an instant, the thief on the cross next to Jesus understood each of Daiquiri's 8 points and was told he would be with Christ in Paradise. I doubt he had lived much of a good life prior to that.
Living a good life is a result of being Saved, not a condition of how to be Saved.
Sorry Daiquiri, I am sure that was a different post, but I thought it was important to mention.

big daddy –   – (9/23/2008 09:13:00 AM)  

One more thing on the Fall...
Sin or transgression, Eve's actions were not pleasing to God. Romans 8:1-8 does a great job of explaining what it means to please God, namely walking in the Spirit, not the flesh. Those few verses build until Romans 8:8, where Paul says 'So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.'
My question is, was Eve listening to the Spirit (God) or the flesh (Satan).
Since she did exactly what Satan told her to do and exactly what God told her not to, she cannot please God by her actions.

Daiquiri  – (9/23/2008 09:26:00 AM)  

I agree with you, Big Daddy. Thanks for your comment.


Something to consider relevant to the LDS belief that we must experience the bad so that we can fully experience the good:

"And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just." Romans 3:8 (KJ)

or, in the NIV:

"Why not say—as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say—"Let us do evil that good may result"? Their condemnation is deserved."

Amy –   – (9/23/2008 09:37:00 AM)  

I agree that we are different on all 8 points you listed, and that is exactly why I chose to be a member of the LDS church. These are the things I want to believe about the nature of God and our purpose here on earth. And the way I read my scripture it all makes sense. I feel like Rob, lds neighbor, summer, Fern, and Patrick have given great summaries of our doctrine here. This seems to be evolving into a debate, and a scripture war rather than a discussion to understand one another. In your original post on these topics you said, "...I say that this is coming from a heart of love and not from some perverse need to just be 'right.'" I think if you really believe that, there is plenty of information out now about this subject and it may be time to move on.

ldsneighbor  – (9/23/2008 09:48:00 AM)  

Daiquiri, I've already posted more than my fair share in this particular thread, but if you'll bear with me I'd like to respond to your last comment, because it makes it sound like we are promoting people "doing bad" as long as "something good" comes of it. And that is definitely not our belief. Rather, we just recognize that there is an "opposition in all things". That does not contort to mean we should do bad in order to do good. Adam and Eve transgressed, and in doing so brought sin and death and fallen nature into the world. And we are saved from sin and death through Jesus Christ, which was Plan A, because God knew that the Fall would happen, just as he knows that each one of us is imperfect and we need Jesus Christ, for we all have fallen short.

Here is more thoughts from our scriptures (2 Nephi 2:9-15) on the idea of "opposition in all things":

9 Wherefore, he [meaning Jesus Christ] is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.
10 And because of the intercession for all, all men come unto God; wherefore, they stand in the presence of him, to be judged of him according to the truth and holiness which is in him. Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement—
11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
12 Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.
13 And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.
14 And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon.
15 And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.

I hope that clarifies a little bit. I don't want people to get the wrong idea about what we believe. I appreciate your forbearance.

Daiquiri  – (9/23/2008 09:51:00 AM)  

Amy - I do come from a heart of love, and that's exactly why it's so hard to move on from such an important point.

You said that "These are the things I want to believe about the nature of God and our purpose here on earth".

Please consider Eve? Satan decieved her with the promise of being "as gods"...Eve liked what she heard...it was also something that she wanted to believe. But it was deception. Dangerous deception and lies that lead to separation from God and death.

The Truth of God is not subject to what we want! He is who he is...and is very different than the God taught by the LDS church.

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